Brooklyn born artist James Grashow works with the simplest medium of corrugated cardboard to create enormous sculptures and installations that are incredibly playful. The sheer size of his work is staggering to begin with: a hundred life-size monkeys swoop down to play, Neptune rises majestically out of the sea surrounded by his coterie, and a giant, grinning cardboard Gulliver makes viewers into mere dwarves in comparison.

What really makes catches my eyes in these installations is how the flat, geometric look of cardboard joints and angles becomes interpreted into a playful, whimsical rhythm that looks joyful. Dolphins emerge from the ground, the monkeys look positively eager to jump off their strings. Grashow’s mentality towards cardboard is clearly expressed in his work, and he elaborates on his website:

I am convinced there is a link between corrugated board and creativity. Its very valuelessness liberates us. Boxes, tubes, sheets of corrugated board – everything that lives between the good stuff and garbage – becomes a perfect partner for play. Rescued from trash, it asks only, “What do you want me to be?”

Corrugated board is the DNA of creativity. Boxes, glue, tape, knives and a group of willing people can create anything. And have a great time doing it.


Grashow’s cardboard fountain is what caught the internet’s fancy recently, but my personal favorite is still the monkeys, which were hung in two different museums as installations. [Via My Modern Met.]

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